Proceed to Checkout: By Ella


Carley Walker, Editor-in-Chief

The endless scroll on social media during quarantine caused some students to develop sensitivity to light and others to have a sudden burst of inspiration and creativity. The burst in creativity caused some to develop new interests and hobbies, and others to start their own businesses, especially on Instagram and Depop.

DPM 8th grader Ella Rubenstein took a leap forward and started a business at 13 years old. Her following has amassed more than 1,000 followers on TikTok and Instagram, and her clothes can be seen worn by students at LFHS.

When did you start your business?

I started around last May during quarantine. I was really, really bored and I kept seeing stuff on TikTok and Instagram people that started online businesses. I wanted a good way to spend my time. I bought a sticker machine off of Amazon and I started selling stickers. It was really fun for me, so I wanted to start a business.

When you first started making stickers, was everything your own design?

Yes, they’re all my own designs. I draw them on an app, print them, and sell them.

What made you branch out from just doing stickers?

I figured out that the machine I bought had a lot of different settings on it to make more stuff. I realized I could do more stuff on the machine, so I started thinking about what was popular right now. I figured clothing would be something fun to do, so I started selling that too since my machine allows me to.

Where do you get your resources to make your clothing?

I usually buy stuff from online stores or local stores for plain sweatshirts for my prints.

What are the main things you make for your business?

I think for now I’m just going to keep doing clothing and stickers since those are the main products my machine can make. I am planning on branching out to more clothing like hats and t-shirts. 

Is there a theme you have for your designs?

I think about what’s popular with my age, with stars and smiley faces. I do custom orders, like college apparel as well, along with my own designs. 

Mara Hoodie
Rosie Hoodie

What’s your favorite design that you’ve made?

I think one of my favorite designs is on my sweatshirts called the Mara and Rosy hoodies. 

Have you always been into art and graphic designs?

Yeah, it’s always been one of my favorite classes in school. I love being creative and expressing myself, so this has been a very fun project for me. 

How did you build a platform for your business?

I started on Instagram and I did not think I was going to grow a platform at all. There were so many other small businesses on Instagram and I was able to reach out to them, which helped me grow my platform. I also had a RedBubble and Etsy which helped me grow because there were other people that helped spread the word about my business. Once I had a platform on Instagram, I told my followers about a TikTok I made for my business.

Are a lot of your customers within the North Shore area?

A lot more people who buy stickers are out of state. A lot of the people that buy the clothing typically buy clothing instead of the stickers.

What is the most helpful platform you’re on?

Instagram for sure. I had to shut down my RedBubble and Etsy because they didn’t do very well. I think Instagram has been the most helpful. Once I started my own website too that helped me sell my products. TikTok has also helped me spread the word as well. But, I just started my TikTok and haven’t gotten to spread the word out as much as I do on Instagram. Overall, Instagram has been the most helpful though.

How has business been going, especially during the pandemic?

I think it’s going really well, especially since I started selling clothing. I wasn’t really sure how it would go when I started in quarantine. But, it’s been going really well especially with the profit from sweatshirts. Overall, the process is going well in sales. I haven’t experienced what business is like outside of the pandemic, but I’m pretty happy right now with how my business is growing.